“(Kirkendall) was given the opportunity to return to work on reasonable employment conditions that would ensure a welcoming, inclusive and safe workplace for everyone,” May said.
Telegraph Herald 5/12/2022
On February 17, 2022, I announced I was running for the office of Dubuque County Attorney due to mismanagement by the incumbent.
On March 25, 2022, I was informed that I was placed on administrative leave due to an allegation that I had harassed a co-worker. That allegation was investigated, and I was informed the investigation was completed by April 15. A report was delivered to the County within a few days after that.
Presumably the initial report found no evidence of harassment by me, but the County then spent the next few weeks spending time reopening the investigation and trying to find some other way to retaliate against me.
Seven and a half weeks after the suspension began, on May 10, 2022, I was informed by the County HR director that the allegation was "unsubstantiated." The investigation had not found any wrongdoing by me.
Considering the significant cost to the county, and significant disruption of cases to which I was assigned, one would think that the goal at that point would be to get me back to work as soon as possible.
Au contraire. Even though the investigation had not found any fault, I would only be allowed to return to work if I signed a "last chance" agreement. That agreement included a litany of false statements about events pre-dating the investigation, as well as two pre-drafted apology letters. I was told that I had until 9am the next morning to sign the agreement and letters.
I did not sign any of those documents, but I did give a written response to County officials before 9am. I declared that I would NOT resign and I am ready to come back to work, but that I would not agree to endorse the falsehoods contained within the agreement or the letters.
After I delivered that response, C.J. May began telling people that I had quit my job, and made public statements to that effect to media. He apparently thinks he can condition my continued employment on false and defamatory "agreement" and letters of apology that sound like they were written by Soviet commissars on behalf of political prisoners.
Since I delivered my response to the County, I have not received any notice about any changes to my employment status.
So to summarize:
1. I was accused of harassment, which was unfounded. I was not investigated for any other wrongdoing.
2. Despite the accusation being unfounded, C.J. May will not let me return to work unless I sign groveling apologies and a fundamentally false agreement. You can see those documents at this link.
3. I have refused to sign those, but I am otherwise ready to go back to work. You can see my written response at this link.
4. C.J. May has said publically that I "chose to quit." Nope.
5. I have not received any notice that there has been a change in my employment status.
A completely bizarre situation, brought on by the poor management of the County Attorney's Office under C.J. May. Many good employees have left the county because of his mismanagement,
Nothing about Mr. May's management is "reasonable," nor are the conditions of employment "reasonable" when they include forced confessions and agreeing that I belong in the gulag.